Savory Seasonal Suggestion

The leaves have almost all fallen and the colors keep changing all around us. The crisp cool breeze of Autumn will soon begin it’s transformation into a winter chill; this is the season for spices, warm hugs, and yummy pie slices.

So with rosy cheeks and cozy feet here are some falltastic books and treats.

(Click pictures and titles for more info.)

The Wretched of Muirwood
– Jeff Wheeler
This is the first book in a trilogy (of which I have not finished) I cannot speak for the series but as for this first installment, it does not disappoint. This is a great fall book. The likable characters and murky undertones are perfect to read on a rainy day. Being the first of three it leaves you wanting more so if you’re shut up on a stormy weekend or need a holiday bundle, this is the book for you.

The Wretched of Muirwood Rated: 4.4 on


Book Bean:
This book screams apple cider. If you read it you will be happy to have some within your reach.

Chicken Soup For The Soul

Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen

An oldy but a goody. There is something unbelievably cozy about sipping a warm drink reading Chicken Soup for The Soul. This book warms you from the inside out, it is full of classic uplifting stories that anyone can enjoy.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Rated: 4.6 on


ook Bean: Sip some creamy butternut squash soup in a mug to really get in the spirit. Or try some honey ginger tea for just the right zing.


Harry Potter
– J.K. Rowling
The Harry Potter series is the perfect thing for fall. Start in October and you’ll have plenty of content to last you through. I personally was content after the first three but if you want more the series packs a wallop. Everything about the story is perfect for the season. Not only does it jive but it’s also the kind of book that you want to curl up with, escape from the world, and get lost in.

Harry Potter Rated: 4.6 on


Book Bean:
Pumpkin Latte or any other spiced latte
pairs oh so nicely.

The Turn of The Screw
– Henry James
This eerie tale is dark and brittle and not for the faint of heart. It’s a classic but it does not fail to lift the micro hairs ever so slightly at the base of your neck. If you frighten easily read aloud with a friend for a fun twist. Make s’mores and sit around a fire pit take turns reading it aloud and see who squirms.

The Turn of the Screw Rated: 4.6 on

dsc_8551Book Bean: Hot Cocoa or Black Tea alongside your
s’more of course ; )

The Best of Poe
– Edgar Allan Poe
What could be better on a cold gloomy night than setting the candle ambiance for the romantic loom of short stories and poems by the great Poe. There is a dark and sexy quality to Poe’s work that matches the Autumn breeze beautifully. Sit out on your porch wrapped in wool and read his words as they whistle with the wind.

The Best of Poe Rated: 4.5 on


Book Bean:
Get some dark chocolate to nibble, and sip your favorite black coffee brew.

Fun Fact: 65% of adults read for pleasure.

Now light some candles, get those fluffy socks on, and grab something to cuddle. Tis the season for book nooks and reading hooks

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With some yummy Mulled Cider!



Medieval Fare and Fiction

38de0f422fffb271a3f9006077becc55I love historical fiction and I also love fantasy fiction, so this showcases a little of both. Thanks to a little prompting from Robin C. Farrel I decide to compile a list of well known and highly rated Medieval & Fantasy fiction. I also shared a few drink pairings that I thought would compliment these books and do justice to their era. I hope you enjoy what I’ve come up with, and add your own favorites to my list!

Here is my Friday list of fabulous Medieval Fair and Fiction:

The Sunne In Splendour
By Sharon Kay Penman

A glorious novel of the controversial Richard III; a monarch betrayed in life by his allies and betrayed in death by history

In this beautifully rendered modern classic, Penman redeems Richard III; vilified as the bitter, twisted, scheming hunchback who murdered his nephews.

Rated 4.7 on

The Inheritance Cycle
By Cristopher Paolini

An unforgettable, worldwide bestselling saga of one boy, one dragon, and a world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Rated 4.7 on
Book Bean:
 Hot Mulled Persimmons
Wash, peel, and slice ½ cup’s worth of ginger. Put it into a pot or kettle. Add 5 cinnamon sticks, handful of pine nuts, and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 min. Lower heat and add 5 dried persimmons and 1 cup of sugar, simmer 30 min. Serve hot with ginger/pine nut garnish. As a non traditional option; add 5 satchels (or equivalent in loose leaf) of desired tea (white works well) for the last 5-10 min.

The Pillars of the Earth
By Ken Follett
A spellbinding epic story set in twelfth-century England. This book tells the story of the lives entwined in the building of the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known-and a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.
Before this novel was published, Follett was known for writing in the thriller genre. The Pillars of the Earth became his best-selling work.

Rated 4.4 on

ivanhoe-walter-scott-paperback-cover-artBy Sir Walter Scott

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

Ivanhoe was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. This is a classic historical fiction with knights, action, and romance.

Rated 4.3 on

IMG_3411.jpgBook Bean: Mulberry Almond Steamer
Bring  8 oz of almond milk to a simmer, drop in a teaspoon of mulberry syrup (or more to taste) add in 2 drops of almond extract (or to taste.) Mix well, pour, and serve.

The Way of Kings
By Brandon Sanderson

Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Rated 4.7 on

Here Be Dragons
By Sharon Penman
The turbulent clashes of two disparate worlds and the destinies of the individuals caught between them spring to life in this magnificent novel of power and passion, loyalty and lies.

The book that began the trilogy that includes Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning, Here Be Dragons brings thirteenth-century England, France, and Wales to tangled, tempestuous life.

Rated 4.7 on

Book Bean:
Soft Honey Mead
In a pot mix: 1 part white grape juice, 2 parts honey, and 3 parts water (part = an ounce or a cup etc. depending on how much you want to make.) Add in cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamom to taste. Bring it to a boil then simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain & chill.

The Mists of Avalon
By Marion Zimmer Bradley
The magical legend of King Arthur, vividly retold through the lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne. A new twist on an enchanting tale.

Most of the events of the traditional Arthurian legend are presented in this re-telling. However, it is fascinating how the story normally told through the eyes of men, changes when experienced from the experiences of woman.

Rated 4.5 on

The Last Kingdom
By Bernard Cornwell
An exciting, yet little known (although now on the rise) story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son, and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms.

Told through a dispossessed noble, who is captured as a child by the Danes and raised by them. By the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex, he almost feels he is one.

Rated 4.5 on

18d3059138f98fc4380ac7b082e2815bBook Bean: 
Spiced Pear Cider
Start with 2 liters of Apple juice in a big pan, then add 2 thumb sized ginger pieces, 2 sliced ripe pears, 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 cardamom pods, and 3 Tbs. brown sugar. Add the juice of 4 limes, and zest of 2. Bring everything to a boil then simmer until all of the sugar has dissolved. Serve hot in mugs with cinnamon stick. Spiced rum can also be added.


Fun fact: In Medieval Europe coffee was not around. Coffee didn’t make it’s way over till the 17th century. Also, milk was not something that was common to drink, especially if you did not have a cow or goat in your possession (freshness and all that.) So mead, almond milk, and cider were more common options.

So what are your medieval/fantasy fiction favorites?